Tag Archives: The Guardian

What Would Your Youthful Library Record Say About You?

Over at newauthoronline, Kevin Morris posted about his childhood library record as a reaction to this article posted on The Guardian’s website. Well, I have something to say, too.

While the other responses are mainly about fiction, I rarely read fiction as a child. I was always interested in dinosaurs and space, so you could always find me in the non-fiction and science section of the library. The Stony Plain Public Library saw me checking out this one book in particular many times. I don’t remember the title, but it was a very impressive book about dinosaurs that contained diagrams and drawings of skeletons and skulls. I’d spend hours tracing over the bone illustrations to give a fully-fleshed picture of the dinosaurs. I wanted them to match the shape of the skull closely, so I could see what they really looked like. Of course, we now know many theropods had feathers, but back in the late eighties, we had no idea.

That is the book that stands out for me. I don’t recall what else I checked out, but they almost always involved science. This showed how much I loved science, and still do. I was a nerdy little kid, even though I didn’t have the stereotypical look.

So, what does your childhood/teenage library record look like? Leave your comments below!

Journalist Judges Terry Pratchett’s Books Without Reading Any of Them

Jonathan Jones has just shown himself to be a poor journalist. Absolute garbage. He’s an art writer for the Guardian, and he wrote about how Terry Pratchett was just a mediocre writer who he never intends to read, and that a big deal is only being made about him because he died earlier this year. What?

Terry Pratchett is one of the best selling fantasy authors in history! He’s just behind three other authors, who are all heavyweights in fantasy writing: J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, and C. S. Lewis. Even before he died, a big deal was being made about him. His witty satire is some of the best and funniest fantasy I’ve ever read.

Jones says he’s not a literary genius. How does he know? How can he boldly state that without ever reading even one of his books? That’s like an art critic saying he doesn’t like Picasso without even looking at a single painting of his. It’s like saying you don’t like the burgers at Five Guys without ever trying their burgers. You cannot judge something while being totally ignorant of it at the same time.

Honestly, Jonathan Jones should just retract that piece of garbage he calls an article. He chose Terry Pratchett simply because he died this year, and a lot of people made a big deal about it, while other authors recently died and not much was said about them. You see, Gunter Grass was a “true titan of the novel.” Terry Pratchett was not, because…well, just because. Actually, because he thinks that Discworld is just light reading, so it’s not real literature. If he’d actually pick up a Discworld novel and read it, he may find that it’s very intelligent. And it most certainly is. It also tackles a lot of social issues, takes on a lot of different styles, and continues to be very engaging and entertaining. I guess he doesn’t think it’s ambitious writing. It’s lazy writing. Far from it.

It irritates me when someone judges something without actually knowing a single thing about it. Jonathan Jones, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Sam Jordison, another writer for The Guardian, and someone who actually is in the publishing industry, wrote a rebuttal. You can read it here.

What do you think of this situation? And what do you think of Terry Pratchett?